En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 03, 2010

From: Bryant, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Turf
Title: Native replacement for middle school lawn in AR.
Answered by: Stephen Scace

QUESTION:

I'm doing a project to help out our green middle school replace the grass in front of the school with something that stays short but is also native to the region. Can you recommend one that I can use?

ANSWER:

Briefly, Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) may work wonderfully as a native turfgrass for your school's front lawn. Buffalograss is native to much of Arkansas, mostly as a short bunchgrass occupying sunny niches among the giant grasses of the Tall Grass Prairie that once dominated the Arkansas River valley. It thrives in well-drained loam, clay, caliche, or limestone, but it does not do well in sand. More important, buffalograss needs full sun; it cannot survive in shade. It will bear considerable traffic, but it probably would wear thin if used as a playground. It should be mowed at least once a year to keep the sod dense, but most folks mow once a month or so to maintain a tidy appearance. Buffalograss seed, sod, and sprigs are widely available, so there is some flexibility in when you plant and how long it will take to establish a lawn.


Bouteloua dactyloides

You might find our How-To article Native Lawns: Buffalograss helpful.

It occurs to Mr. Smarty Plants that planning and installing a native-grass lawn might constitute a year-long teachable moment at a green middle school.

 

 

 

More Turf Questions

Native Grasses for Houston, TX
April 06, 2015 - What native grasses can I use for my lawn in Houston, TX? It appears that Habiturf is not recommended for our climate. Is there another variety of seed available yet that I can use to start a small ...
view the full question and answer

Maple roots in lawn in Denton TX
June 03, 2010 - I purchased a new home 4 years ago that came with a landscape package. There are 2 trees in the front yard that I think are red maple trees. I am now seeing their roots appear above the ground which...
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) and buffalo grass mixes
October 05, 2007 - I live in Austin, TX and have visited the Wildflower Center in the past and enjoyed the display of native grass mixes. Can you tell me about the variations of buffalograss mixes... which ones are most...
view the full question and answer

Lawn grass for Erath County, TX
October 02, 2012 - We live in Erath County in TX on ranch land. We are relatively dry. Our soil is combination of clay and red soil (brought in for building pad), and sandy. We have a sloped area, about 30%, that we w...
view the full question and answer

Native xeric grasses for Colorado
June 24, 2010 - Tired of mowing - replacing western exposure full sun lawn with native xeric grass. Please explain the pros and cons of Bouteloua Gracilis (Blue Grama) and Bouteloua Dactyloides Bella (Bella Blue Gra...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center